New development team modifies proposed East Side apartment development

Taller part of building now faces North Avenue instead of residential side street

Rendering: JLA Architects
Rendering: JLA Architects

Last updated on April 1st, 2021 at 03:09 pm

A new development team has made changes to a proposed 90-unit apartment project southwest of East North and North Summit avenues on Milwaukee’s East Side.

The changes address some, but not all, of the concerns brought forward by residents, according to the local alderman.

According to the latest plans, the apartment complex will stand seven stories tall at North Avenue and shrink to four stories on Summit Avenue. It would also contain a 103-stall parking garage, with garage access off Summit, and a courtyard at the south end of the building.

Brian Wagner of Waunakee-based TamaRock Ventures Inc. is partnering with Madison-based Stone House Development Inc. on the project. Stone House’s role is co-investor and lead developer. Its principals are Helen Bradbury and Rich Arnesen.

The original project plans were first revealed in early 2020. The new plans have shifted the seven-story portion to North Avenue and moved the courtyard from the northern to the southern end of the project site.

The updated project plans were detailed in an email from Alderman Nik Kovac.

The changes to the project are in response to concerns area residents raised at a previous neighborhood meeting.

Chief among those concerns was the density the project would bring to Summit Avenue, and likewise the increased traffic and less parking availability it would create for the narrow side streets just off North Avenue.

Kovac said his office took a straw poll at the meeting, which was held in February last year. Two respondents were in favor of the proposal, while 21 were against it and 14 were undecided.

“It was the least amount of public support I have ever seen for a proposed DPD (Detailed Planned Development zoning district), and based on that clear feedback the developer was discouraged from proceeding with that proposal,” Kovac said.

The latest iteration of the project appears to address some, but not all, of residents’ concerns, Kovac said. He pointed out the overall height and density are similar to the last proposal. This also means the potential traffic and parking impacts would remain the same.

But, the reconfiguration of the project came from the suggestion of neighbors. They said it made more sense for the taller part of the complex to sit along North Avenue.

A project summary from the developers also notes that exterior building materials have been changed “to relate to the neighborhood context.”

Kovac pointed out that Wagner had also revealed Stone House as a project partner.

The development team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Stone House was founded in 1996, and has performed 22 multi-family projects throughout Wisconsin. It has two Milwaukee apartment properties: The 51-unit Hubbard Street Apartments and 55-unit Castings Place Apartments.

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Alex Zank covers commercial and residential real estate for BizTimes. Alex previously worked for Farm Equipment magazine and also covered statewide construction news at The Daily Reporter. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he studied journalism, political science and economics. Having grown up in rural western Wisconsin, Alex loves all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, four-wheeling and hunting.

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